Mission and Purpose
- To protect the right and access to voting for all citizens. We will seek congregational support for voting rights efforts with education, witness and advocacy programs.
- To ensure that votes cast are counted and reported accurately. We will recruit members to be trained as election audit/review (recount) observers in Minnesota and participate in the national campaign for voter verifiable paper ballots and mandatory audits in all fifty states.
Report Release 11/22/10:
"Facts About Ineligible Voting and Voter Fraud in Minnesota"
Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN), in collaboration with MUUSJA, released a report on November 22, 2010, detailing results of a survey sent to all of Minnesota’s County Attorneys. The authors gathered extensive data about County Attorney investigations into ineligible voting and prosecutions of voter fraud based on the 2008 elections.
The report shows that of 2.9 million ballots cast in the 2008 statewide election, only nine ten-thousandths of one percent (0.0009%) of votes cast led to convictions for fraud. Based on the findings of the report, MUUSJA Voting Rights co-chair Jennifer Jewel Thomas led off the press conference by saying "let me give you the executive summary: voter fraud is not a problem in Minnesota and a photo identification requirement for voters is completely unnecessary." Carol Johnson, report co-author and MUUSJA Voting Rights co-chair, presented attendees an overview of the safeguards in place in Minnesota to protect the integrity of our elections.
You can download the press release from the event, as well as the full CEIMN-MUUSJA report.
News links include this coverage from Minnesota Public Radio, the Star Tribune, MinnPost, The Minnesota Independent and full-length video of the press conference from The UpTake.
On a related note, the St. Paul Pioneer Press ran this commentary "Another recount yields more evidence that Minnesota's system is sound" by CEI-MN founder and director Mark Halvorson.
Report release 2/25/10: "Minnesota's Elections: Transparent, Verifiable, and Accurate"
On February 25, 2010, two of the leading non-partisan elections groups in Minnesota — Citizens for Election Integrity MN and Common Cause MN — released this well-documented response [PDF, 584k] to a report, issued in Oct 2009 from the conservative think-tank Center of the American Experiment, that used faulty information to cast unfounded doubt on Minnesota's elections systems. The report presented here confirms that Minnesotans can indeed have confidence that our elections are transparent, verifiable, and accurate.
Voting Rights active at annual UUA General Assemblies!
2010 in the Twin Cities: The MUUSJA/AUW Voting Rights working group presented a workshop highlighting Minnesota's long and successful history of same-day voter registration. "Honoring Inherent Worth of Voters for 36 Years" featured MN Secretary of State Mark Ritchie on Minnesota's successful use of election-day voter registration since 1974 to help achieve the nation’s highest voter turnout. In Presidential election years, 15%-22% of Minnesota's voters register at the polls. Waits are short, voter suppression is minimized, and the recent Franken-Coleman Senate recount &ndash and the League of Women Voters MN reaffirmed &ndash that claims of voter fraud lack any merit.
2009 in Salt Lake: Advocate Pending Legislation Toward Clean, Honest, and Fair Elections in the United States
The Voting Rights working group worked closely with UUs from Florida, New York and Massachusetts to draft and successfully negotiate the complex and collaborative process to pass an Action of Immediate Witness (A.I.W.) at General Assembly.
&rarr You can watch Voter Rights co-chair Jennifer Jewel Thomas present the 2009 A.I.W. on streaming video including its subsequent near-unanimous passage. When the video opens in a new window, slide the time bar to 1:08:12 to see the A.I.W.'s introduction and then Jenny in action!
The A.I.W. leads off saying "As we support the struggles of the Iranian people to have their voices heard and their votes counted, we must ensure the same for voters in the United States, so we can elect leaders who work for the good of all people and who strive for peace and justice in the United States of America and around the world." Read the full text of the 2009 A.I.W.
Also at General Assembly 2009:
Voting Rights presented Bruce Funk, a local Utah election official committed to reform of electronic voting, to participants of GA via a Saturday afternoon workshop titled "Does Touchscreen Voting Violate the 5th Principle?" Pictured L-R are workshop presenters Bruce Funk, Jenny Thomas, Theresa Hommel, Helini Thayer, and Carol Johnson. Audio of this workshop is available from the UUA ($10 fee for MP3/$12 for CD)
And during General Assembly, UU Secretaries of State Mark Ritchie (MN) and Debra Bowen (CA) were co-recipients of the Wilton Peace Prize. After receiving their awards, they were the featured presenters at Friday evening's "Strengthening Democracy Now!" workshop sponsored by the UUA Office of Advocacy and Witness. Mark also took the time to speak to us at a special MUUSJA lunch during the Assembly.
Contact co-chairs Jennifer Jewel Thomas at email@example.com
or Carol Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Words from faith Leaders: Rev. Justin Schroeder's sermon, UCC minister Don Britt's OpEd, Isaiah's info page, and other faith leaders video.